Baby Steps

Baby Steps is a program for parents/caregivers of children from birth to 3 years of age. It is designed to help parents/caregivers gain a better understanding of child development as well as acquire the skills to raise happy, healthy children.  Modeled after the “Baby College® of Harlem,” Baby Steps was established in 2009 through a consortium of educational and social service agencies in Newport. It includes educational sessions on child behavior and positive parenting; communication and language development; developmentally appropriate learning and cognitive development. 

The goal of Baby Steps is to ensure that each child, by the age of 3, develops a full and vibrant vocabulary along with social skills that will effectively prepare him/her for pre-K or kindergarten.  Another goal of the program is to ensure that parents/caregivers receive the education and support they need during the pivotal first three years of their children’s lives.

Who We Serve

Baby Steps serves families with children from birth to 3 years of age, as well as expectant parents. Families throughout Newport County are welcome to join our program. Older siblings, 3 to 10 years of age, are also welcomed.

Key Features

Baby Steps helps parents/caregivers understand how their children learn, communicate, and develop. Monthly sessions include:

  • Child development instruction that helps parents develop skills to be successful first teachers to their children and to understand how their children learn
  • Reading and music sessions
  • Fun arts and crafts activities for the whole family to enjoy
  • Free books and diapers
  • Social services and health care referrals
  • Transportation to and from each session

Resources for Parents

Parenting Program Expanded – (Baby Steps Offering Thursday Evening Sessions), Newport This Week, January 17, 2019 – This feature article shares information about Baby Steps and its expansion of services.

Our Turn: Victor Capellan and Lisa Hildebrand: First Three Years Shape Life’s Success – This Providence Journal opinion article tells parents reading to their children from infancy will positively affect their futures, and it gives some practical advice on the subject. -posted November 24, 2018

Location(s) of the Program

*The mailing address of Florence Gray Center is 1 York Street; “1 Shimoda Way” works with most GPS systems.

Hours of Operation

Monthly programs for families meet on the 1st Saturday of each month (September-May) from 9:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M., with breakfast served from 9:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.  Monthly evening sessions will also take place from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month, beginning January 24, 2019. 

The Baby Steps Coordinator is available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 10 am until 1 pm. and by special appointment.

Saturday Mornings

pdf of our monthly program dates for 2019/2020

Thursday Evening Programs

pdf of our 2019/2020 Thursday evening dates 

How You Can Enroll

For information on enrollment/registration, contact Baby Steps Coordinator, Mishana Boyark, at 401-490-1380 or

How You Can Help

We have many opportunities for volunteers, ranging from participation in our Saturday sessions, to helping solicit donations and assisting with administrative work. Those who are interested can contact the Baby Steps Coordinator at 401-490-1380.

Families who participate in the Baby Steps program do so free of charge. Operating costs are raised through annual board giving, community donations, and grants. Donations are greatly appreciated and can be made online or by calling 401-490-1380.

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